Perhaps. Thing was, it was difficult to make out his exact words with all the cameras clicking around him. Clearly Washington’s top political photographers didn’t want to miss a single grimace, a single killer look. “Listen to DSLR Shutters Drowning Out Trump’s Meeting with Obama,” read the headline on a tech site, referring to Digital Single-Lens Reflex technology.
“We talked about click click click click click click…,” griped one commenter below a YouTube video of the meeting. And: “Can they have quieter cameras!?”
As a matter of fact, yes. In a fascinating discussion with C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb, Doug Mills, a longtime White House photographer for the New York Times, spoke about his own conversion from a noisy to a silent camera. “I can take your picture right now and you can’t hear it. You can’t hear even a whisper of a noise,” said Mills to Lamb. For more than 35 years, he said, he had used Canon cameras, a brand that, along with Nikon, has dominated Beltway political photography for decades. Sony approached him about using its A9 camera, a mirrorless camera that makes no shutter noise. “Sony came to me and asked if I’d be willing to try it. I remember saying to one of the technicians, ‘This is a game-changer,’” he said.